NEW YORK (PIX11) — Outreach amid the pandemic was cited as a reason for a major drop in the city’s street homeless population based on the new findings of an annual count, the mayor said Thursday.
During the pandemic, Mayor Bill De Blasio said the city opened more than 1,300 safe haven beds, hired more outreach personnel, and came up with new approaches to bringing people in off the streets.
On Thursday, De Blasio revealed the annual numbers gathered by the federal government during the winter and said they show things are working. The 2021 survey shows a 38% decrease in New Yorkers living without shelter year over year and a 23% decrease in subway homelessness.
Each of the five boroughs had a decrease in street homelessness, the study said. De Blasio admitted there’s still more work to be done.
A poll conducted by NEWS10 affiliates and Emerson College PIX11, NewsNation, Emerson College poll showed homelessness and housing was a top issue for more than a third of New Yorkers surveyed.
The fight against homelessness received a shot in the arm Thursday, too. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge announced a $5 billion plan nationwide to house people experiencing homelessness; 10,000 vouchers will be allocated to New York state, and about 5,700 of those will go to NYCHA.